Read about the Higher Education Consortia, as featured in a recent UDaily article.
August 29, 2013
I am writing to invite you to participate this year in the 2013 – 2014 data collection cycle (examining Fall 2012 and Fiscal Year 2012 – 2013 data) of the National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity (Delaware Study). Since its inception in 1992, nearly 600 institutions have participated in the Study. Today, the Delaware Study is generally acknowledged as the “tool of choice” for comparative analysis of faculty teaching loads, direct instructional cost, and separately budgeted scholarly activity.
As the new Director of the Higher Education Consortia, which administers the Delaware Study, my goal is to improve an already strong tool by focusing on quality, innovation, and relationships. Over the years, many of you have come to rely upon the Study as an analytical tool for helping you make management, planning, and policy decisions to promote unit and institutional improvement. Fundamentally, the Study has always attempted to address, ‘Who is teaching what to whom, and at what cost?’ and those questions, and the data they provide, will continue to comprise the core of the Delaware Study for the foreseeable future. However, the Consortia can still improve the quality of the Study by offering you additional refinements. That is why on the suggestion of an institutional member, we will now be providing you an additional set of national norms for undergraduate credit hours taught by percentile group. This analysis may be useful to compare institutions that may be more similar to yours by faculty teaching load than the traditional Carnegie classification norms, which we will continue to offer to you as well.
The past decade has brought about tremendous change in higher education, and with this change, new questions have emerged, creating new data demands. I am very sensitive to these additional demands, born largely by institutional research departments, often without additional resources. That is why in the coming months, the Consortia will be releasing several innovations which we hope will improve our service to you. One innovation is the delivery of video content, which you will gain access to as an institutional participant. The first of these videos accompanies this participation invitation which you can watch here. Although you can always read our Delaware Study instructions and definitions, in subsequent videos, we will be walking you through the data collection process as well as best practices. Thus, if this is the first year at your institution collecting these data, or, if you’re an expert who just needs a quick refresher, these short videos will be available to you.
Second, I am pleased to announce that in the coming weeks, I will be contacting you again to welcome you to the Higher Education Consortia listserv, which is available to you and three other members of your institution for participating in the Delaware Study. For the first time, the Consortia listserv will provide a forum for you to ask questions and address issues related to the Delaware Study, as well as provide a forum for broader discussions concerning benchmarking instructional costs and productivity. This year, these improvements and innovations to the Study are available at no additional charge and we will keep the participation fee at $1,000, for the third consecutive year. For additional details about services available to you please visit the fee schedule, where you can make a secure online payment. This year, we are including a link on the payment form so you do not need to remember your FICE code. All you need to remember is the data submission deadline of January 31, 2014.
Finally, relationships matter. Over the past two decades, many of you have consistently participated in the Delaware Study and during that time, you have built wonderful working relationships with our Assistant Director, Dr. Allison Walters, and Pat Kelly. Each day, it is both a privilege and a pleasure for me to work with them, and I am so pleased that they will be here at Delaware for the foreseeable future.
Our relationship with you also matters a great deal which is why later this fall, I will be asking you to participate in our first satisfaction survey. Through this survey, for the first time, we will have the opportunity to understand how the Study is used collectively and what changes we can make to improve the Delaware Study. Of course, you do not have to wait for our survey to tell me how the Study can be improved. You can contact me anytime at 302.831.2021 with your questions, critiques, suggestions, or institutional peers you think should participate in the Study.
I look forward to hearing from you, growing the Study, and our relationship this year, and for years to come.
John Barnshaw, Ph.D.